Press Releases

Statement by Rev. Sharpton on the arrest of Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Aug 04, 2009

“I am saddened and angered by the arrest and charging of Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., arguably the most prominent Black scholar in the United States today and the most prominent Black at Harvard University. For Dr. Gates to be arrested and charged at his own home after identifying himself and being identified by Harvard police is an outrage of no small implication. This arrest is indicative of at best police abuse of power or at worst the highest example of racial profiling I have seen.

As one who helped to make racial profiling a national issue I can’t think of a more prominent person to fall victim to it and to think that it would happen in his own home. I have heard of driving while Black and even shopping while Black but now even going to your own home while Black is a new low in police community affairs. I talked to Dr. Gates today who was still shaken by these events and I told him that I intend to be in court with him when he is arraigned and the Boston and Springfield chapters of National Action Network are organizing people in the community to address this insult on all Americans.”

Reverend Al Sharpton, President of National Action Network